What is a quote?
A quote is the most up-to-date price that assets such as shares or commodities have sold for on the market.
If you’ve ever seen a company’s share price during a trading session, you’ll notice that it’s constantly going up and down – sometimes once every few seconds. Every change reflects the latest price that a trade has been successfully executed for.
Bid and ask quotes
To help traders establish how much shares or foreign currency is available for, bid and ask quotes are also available.
A bid quote indicates the latest maximum price that a trader is willing to pay for a security, while an ask quote reveals the minimum price a seller is prepared to accept. The divide between these two figures is known as the spread.
Quote prices can be useful in showing how a company’s shares have grown or fallen in value over time. Financial journalists often compare current quotes with prices from a month or a year ago to illustrate how events have had an impact on their performance.
It is worth bearing in mind that quote prices can be susceptible to delays. Sometimes, the prices that appear on news channels or investment websites can be up to 15 minutes old.
Investors may choose to trigger the purchase or sale on assets based on when quote prices reach a certain level. Stop-loss orders can ensure that a trader puts their shares up for sale as soon as a quote falls below a pre-determined amount, while stop-limit orders can trigger a sale when prices hit a high price of the trader’s choosing.